Senators are trying to protect the illegal aliens some call “Dreamers” before President-elect Trump takes office and implements his plans to crackdown on illegal immigration. According to The Guardian, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Illinois’ Dick Durbin are crafting legislation to send a message to Trump:
This is a very defining moment about who we are as a party. This is a test for America, not just Donald Trump, about who are we as a nation.
President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, has protected from deportation 750,000 young people brought to the U.S. illegally. Although Trump said shortly after his election that he will focus on deporting criminals, the president-elect has not walked back his pledge to rescind DACA.
Durbin told the Guardian that Trump’s stated emphasis on deporting criminals had provided “a glimmer of hope” that he might be amenable to a compromise on the status of Dreamers. “[But] if they decide to start deporting these kids,” he warned, “they’re in for a battle.”
Trump listed immigration as one of his top three priorities two days after the election:
We’re gonna look very strongly at immigration; we’re gonna look at the border. We’re gonna look very strongly at health care, and we’re looking at jobs — big league jobs.
His Contract With the American Voter, his plan for the first 100 days of his presidency includes canceling every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama. That would include Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the 2012 program that has protected from deportation 750,000 young people brought to the U.S. illegally.
Graham and Durbin were key members of a bipartisan group, known as the “Gang of Eight,” who crafted a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013 that included a pathway to citizenship for the millions illegal aliens living in the US. The legislation overwhelmingly cleared the Senate at the time but never came up for a vote in the Republican-led House of Representatives amid stiff opposition from Conservatives.
Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain, two of the other Republican members of the Gang of Eight, also support this effort to legalize Obama’s extra-legal so-called executive action. DACA is very similar to Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), sometimes called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability. DAPA would grant deferred action status to four million illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 and have children who are either American citizens or lawful permanent residents, but it has been blocked by the courts.
The Guardian also reports that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the fourth Republican member of the Gang of Eight, said he did not have any current plans to get involved in effort to Obama’s bidding and legalize DACA. Rubio did reaffirm his preference for allowing DACA beneficiaries to hold their permits until they expire.
Graham, Durbin, Flake and McCain seem forgetful about the voters being fed up with illegal immigration. Yes we keep seeing polls that say most favor a path to citizenship for the illegals. But don’t forget what happened to Eric Cantor. A rising star of the Republican Party, the presumptive heir to the House Speaker, until he was humiliated in a primary election by a political novice and became the first sitting House majority leader in history to lose his congressional seat. Many blame Cantor’s defeat on his support of comprehensive immigration reform.
One of the main reasons Marco Rubio did not do better in his presidential campaign is that he lost a lot of support from his Conservative base because his work with the Gang of Eight. Rubio backed away from comprehensive immigration reform after the failure of the Gang of Eight bill in 2013 and adopting instead a piecemeal approach beginning with border security.
Then there is Trump who made stopping illegal immigration the centerpiece of his campaign.
Until the border is finally secured, something our so-called leaders have promised to do since the ill-advised Immigration Act of 1986 Act signed into law by President Reagan, giving any illegal aliens a path to citizenship will only encourage more illegal immigration. We have seen more proof of that fact by the surge of young illegal immigrants resulting from Obama’s policies.